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Most implants used in dentistry today are made from commercially pure titanium or titanium alloys. Zirconia versions do exist however their use in dentistry is less common.
Why are dental implants used?
Dental implants are used to replace missing or damaged natural teeth. The implant replaces a natural tooth root and can help support, bridges, crowns or stabilize removable dentures. The benefit of getting dental implants is that once completed, the new teeth feel and look exactly like natural teeth. The actual surgery can be carried out under local anesthetic or IV sedation (for anxious patients). The implant is then left in the jawbone for about 4-6 months while healing takes place. This fusion between the titanium and the bone tissue is known as osseointegration. The new teeth are custom designed and shaded to aesthetically suit each patient's requests and dental needs.
Unlike bridges and crowns, dental implants do not damage adjacent teeth through the preparation of fixed bridgework. Dental implants also prevent additional bone loss which occurs after losing natural teeth. If properly preserved implants can last up to 15-20 years.